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Eccentrics are the most miserable and despised people.

I totally disagree with this point of view. According to Dr. David Weeks eccentrics are happier, healthier and live longer than the rest of us. They are very curious about everything and this gives them a goal in life, which is a recipe for happiness. Almost all of eccentrics visit the doctor only once every 8 or 9 years.

There are only one eccentric in 10’000 people. Most of them are men. They are often eldest or only children raised in strict family. They often have strange eating and sleeping habits and they are poor conversationalist. Also there are more marriages, separations and divorces among eccentrics than in the general population. But they are more intelligent and read much more than ordinary people.

Usual eccentric is obstinate, non-conformist and creative. He has at least one hobby (usually 5 or 6) and prefers to live alone.

James Hirst was the classic English eccentric of the 18th century. At school he liked to ride his teacher’s pig and even taught it to jump law hurdles. However he was expelled because of it. After that he returned to his father’s farm and never rode a horse but a bull. At parties guests were served their drinks on his favourite coffin. Also there was another coffin with folding doors and a window. It stood on end and everybody good climb in it. Then the doors close automatically and couldn’t be opened from inside. Men had to pay a penny to be released and women had to give a piece of their clothes.

According to popular belief, eccentrics are wealthy people who can afford to be eccentrics.

Frank Butland was another famous English eccentric lived in 19th century. His house was full of all kinds animals, most of them running free. His monkeys lived in the sitting room and used to bite his guests. Every night he gave them beer and they were fond of a drop of wine on Sundays.

Francis Henry Egerton preferred dogs to people. The dogs ate with him every day. The huge table was laid for 12 and each dog with a clean, white napkin around their necks were served off silver dishes by servants, one servant for each dog. Also he wore a new pair of shoes every day and used them as a calendar.

Lord Nord also proved fact about eccentric’s wealth. He used to stay in bed from October until March because every Lord Nord had done the same since his ancestor had lost the American Colonies.

Nevertheless nowadays eccentrics are just as likely to work as ordinary people. Dr. Weeks has met a University professor who lives in a cave, a critic who spends all his time in bed, a social worker who lives only on potatoes, and an engineer who walks everywhere backwards because it makes him feel younger.

However eccentrics often feel that they are ahead of their time, and that it is the rest of the world that is completely insane, not themselves.

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